Strikingly beautiful, resilient and simple to maintain, granite is a natural stone that has earned well-deserved acclaim around the world. It has a wide array of possible applications, ranging from indoor/outdoor countertops to backsplashes to tub surrounds to floors/walkways. To conserve the uniquely gorgeous appearance of these surfaces over time, it’s important to be aware of the properties of granite and the corresponding care requirements. This will be our focus today.
What Are the Properties of Granite Surfaces?
- Impressively hard – Ranking as a 6-7 on the Mohs scale of surface hardness (with 1 being softest and 10 being hardest), granite is quite hard. Its dense composition gives it a superb ability to resist scratches, chips and cracks, even with frequent, heavy use. This isn’t to say that these imperfections can’t happen, but they’re less likely to occur on granite than on softer stones.
- Heat resistant – Going hand in hand with its scratch resistance, granite can take some heat without issue. Still, it’s best to use hot pads, trivets and chopping boards to be on the safe side, as the stone isn’t totally invulnerable. (Also, cutting directly on granite may damage your knives or compromise the sealant.)
- Porous – Most varieties of granite (as well as its natural stone cousins) are porous, meaning they have tiny “pores” which can take on water, air and bacteria. In turn, it’s highly recommended to seal and regularly reseal granite to protect against discoloration, mold/mildew and other potential damage from leaving the surface penetrable.
- Varied in color – Originating from deep within the Earth, granite is a kind of magmatic rock that can come in a wide spectrum of different shades and patterns, depending on the mineral composition of a specific variety/slab and the conditions under which it formed. You can find granite featuring colors across the rainbow, from red to pink to yellow to green to off-white and black. No two pieces are exactly alike!
Keeping Granite Surfaces Fresh, Clean and Stunning
Now that we’ve covered the main properties of granite, we’d like to tell you a bit more about how to properly care for it in your daily life and the long term. To do so, let’s answer a few FAQs:
- What should I use to clean granite? – Cleaners specifically designed and approved for use on natural stone are always best. Sticking to these will help ensure your granite surfaces don’t lose their luster, look streaky from left-behind residue or develop unsightly marks due to a chemical reaction called etching.
- How do I prevent granite from becoming dull or damaged? – Small preventative maintenance steps done on a regular basis will go a long way to keep your granite looking like new. Practices to prioritize include cleaning up spills or splashes right away, wiping counters daily with a soft cloth and a gentle cleaner, promptly wiping up water around sinks/faucets, using coasters for cups and storing soaps/cleaning products on a dish to prevent water rings.
- How often does granite need to be sealed? – As we mentioned above, sealing is of paramount importance to keep your granite from absorbing and harboring liquids, food particles, stains and germs. Your fabricator/installer should seal the granite the first time, but you’ll want to reseal as time goes on. Top-quality sealers can offer up to ten years of protection, but keep an eye out for signs that resealing is needed sooner – dark spots and other types of discoloration are giveaways that the sealant coat isn’t doing its job anymore.
Hopefully the properties of granite overview and additional tips we’ve provided here have been helpful in informing you of granite’s qualities and what’s involved in its upkeep. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to our experts! We can also help you select the perfect surface for your project, according to your aesthetic tastes, application, care preferences and budget.
Explore Granite & Much More with Cosmos SurfacesTM
Granite is just the beginning of our wide selection of surfaces! Along with enchanting granites like Bianco Frost and Centaurus, we also offer marble, quartzite, soapstone, porcelain, quartz and other wondrous surface options. You can compare all the different choices via our online gallery, or make an appointment at one of our showrooms scattered across the nation!
Color of the Month: Silver Mist
Silver Mist is an arctic blue-grey with cool twilight undertones. It is perfect for adding an air of serenity to any room, especially when paired with rich dark cherry furniture.
Silver Lightning is a versatile type of granite that looks great among stainless steel and black cabinets. A flashy streak of silver cutting through a mellow gray sky, silver lightning is simultaneously calm and striking. The subtle crystalline texture and honed finish of silver lightning make this a perfect installation for kitchen countertops, floors, and bathroom vanities.
Luce Di Luna is an elegant, intricately textured type of dolomite marble. Thanks to naturally occurring, often intersecting lines in the stone, it’s easy to get lost in the pattern. Fittingly, its name translates to “light from the moon,” which perfectly describes its soft and brilliant white-gray coloring. It is commonly used for countertops, floors and interior walls.